Saar 2012: Hofgut Falkenstein & Peter Lauer

11/6/13 -

(The imposing Ayler Kupp)

We’ve written at length many times about these two favorite Saar growers: the Webers at Hofgut Falkenstein and Florian Lauer. We don’t need to repeat ourselves any more than you want to re-read the same prose, so let’s cut straight to the salient points:

1. New 2012s from both estates have arrived.

2. The vintage is absolutely tremendous in the Saar.

3. For the first time ever in the U.S. there is bubbly Riesling Sekt from Hofgut Falkenstein, and it’s really good.  

Hofgut Falkenstein continues to provide us with what we think are the best values in the Saar, perhaps in all German wine. Erich and Johannes Weber are true winzers (the German term for vigneron); everything’s done by hand and on a very small scale. We were so impressed by the vintage we bought a ton of the Niedermenniger Sonnenberg Spätlese Feinherb, two Auslesen (from the gently rolling Falkensteiner Hofberg and the markedly more dramatic Krettnacher Euchariusberg), and we’re happy to introduce both the zippy Kabinett Trocken and the tremendous sparking non-dosage Riesling Sekt. Keep in mind that the Webers are strictly old-fashioned regarding prädikat usage; the Auslesen aren’t as sweet as you’d think and they’re quite versatile with food. These are not dessert wines; they should be for dinner!

Florian Lauer’s fame has recently exploded both here in the U.S. and in his native Germany, and while he may not yet be able to command the prices of someone like Egon Müller, his small but passionate fan-base is just as devoted and covets each new vintage as much as those who look forward to the yearly releases from the Müller’s Scharzhofberger. Florian just joined the VDP (Germany’s elite grower’s association) so his reputation’s going to continue to improve; hopefully this doesn’t mean the wines will be much more difficult to find, but it might! For now that isn’t the case, so stock up on the stellar offerings below. From the Ayler Kupp we’re particularly fond of the racy, stony definition of this year’s Unterstenbersch and Neuenbersch. Some of our other favorites of the vintage will be rolling in over the next few months, so put your requests in now… -jfr

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